Being the living breathing skeptic I am, I had to convince myself. Vatican seems an odd name for a metal band, but it's the namesake of journeyman guitarist Vince Vatican. Vatican, really? Is that a real surname? Indeed. Search genealogy sites in Google and Vatican is found to be a genuine surname in America. Alternatively, when I first saw the Vatican moniker, I suspected that this must a black metal band, using the name of the citadel of Catholic Christianity in a twisted blasphemous way. But no. Vatican, as a power trio, plays old school American heavy metal in the power and speed metal genre. Some more history and explanation continues in the next two paragraphs. If you simply want to know more about the album and music, go to the fourth paragraph. (I won't be offended.)
Vatican dates to 1985 and remained active through 1994, yet changing their name to Marquis de Sade in the last three years. In the course of those years, they cut six demos, four and two respectively for the two incarnations. The demos would latter be collected in 2014 in Metalmorposis for Cult Metal Classic Records. Vince Vatican would go on to do some other band work with Assailant (two demos) and Big Risk (three demos), and some solo stuff between 1992 and 1995, cutting one demo and, finally, recording an EP, Disturbing The Peace.
This probably seems like a lot of history, and perhaps too much information, but it's for a purpose. Vatican's new album, March Of The Kings, while their very first full-length studio recording, is not exactly a collection of new songs. Alive To The Grave is Marquis de Sade (slash Vatican) song; Running and Fear's Garden are from an Assailant demo; and Corruption is from Vince's Disturbing The Peace EP and Opus #9, a constant in his early solo shows. As for the rest, the others are previously unreleased live-only or rare songs, from the band's history. Having never been recorded in the studio before, they are in some sense "new" songs. Ergo, everything old has been made new again with March Of The Kings.
Musically then, Vatican and the songs are essentially a platform for Vince Vatican's traditional to neo-classical guitar work. His riffs, while harmonious, are also something between raw and raging. His guitar solos are abundant and immense throughout. If you're a guitar nerd, you'll find this album very guitar-centered and you'll like it. The songs are as equally raging as Vince's chops. Most race along with blistering speed and intensity, with no illusion of settling down. There are no pussy heavy metal ballads here, trust me on that one. Long time member, bass player and vocalist, Brian McNasty's (Savior from Anger, ex-Assailant, ex-Marquis de Sade) voice has a timbre to fit the Vatican sound. He ranges from raw to rough, screamo to shreiko, yet still singing, generally clean. Perhaps the overarching motif here, and best description, is to call March Of The Kings and Vatican's heavy metal raw, brisk, and bracing guitar-driven power metal. If that piques your interest, check them out.
Perhaps the overarching motif here, and best description, is to call March Of The Kings and Vatican's heavy metal raw, brisk, and bracing guitar-driven power metal. If that piques your interest, check them out.
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